Board of Directors


Barbara Parker - President

  • 30 year resident of Roosevelt Island.
  • Current Board Member, serving as Secretary and Community Outreach Liaison.
  • Certified Health and Fitness Instructor, organizing Health & Wellness Programs including fitness classes on Roosevelt Island.
  • Certified Healthy Lifestyle Consultant & Coordinator with over 20 years of experience.
  • Worked on community outreach with our elected political representatives, overseeing presentations: IDNYC, MYLAG Mobile Legal Van, NY State Senior Action.
  • Restructured RISA Membership Drive including significant merchant discounts.

RISA Goals:  For RISA to continue providing essential services, broadening its outreach and programs to a wider range of active older adults and special populations.


Donna Chenkin - Vice President

  • 17 year resident of Roosevelt Island.
  • Executive Director: Early childhood education center at Belmont Park for children of backstretch employees for 14 years.
  • Served on the Board of Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST) for New York Race Tracks.
  • Raised $13M to build the center and left an endowment of $6.4M.

RISA Goals: To increase donations and grants in order to take special trips and purchase supplies; to increase membership by promoting the organization more broadly in Manhattan Park, Octagon, and Riverwalk.

What programs/events would you like to help create?


Sherie Helstien - Secretary

  • 27 year resident of Roosevelt Island.
  • Served a total of 19 years on RIRA; 10 years as Secretary; currently serving two-year term as Vice President. Actively involved in Government Relations and SC&E Committees presenting the RI Day RIRA Blood Drive; the Cherry Blossom Festival, and a myriad of other RIRA programs/events.


RISA Goals: To help create interesting programs for a broader age range of older adults through my relationships with other residents in the community; plan trips to off-Island locales, such as the Bronx Botanical Gardens.

What ideas for programs do you have?